Let us hear out the interview with a water management expert
Selangor will certainly face a critical water crisis if the state government continues to block the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant, a water management expert warned Sunday.
Dr Ahmad Zaharuddin Sani Ahmad Sabri said providing treated water was an important responsibility of the state government and the Langat 2 plant remained the only alternative means for the state to have adequate supply of treated water because all existing treatment plants had exceeded their production capacity.
“Without this alternative plan, the people and industries in Selangor will run out of treated water as we have reached the maximum production level.
Q: Will the Langat 2 plant overcome all water problems in Selangor?
A: At the moment, when we talk about Langat 2 being able to solve our water problems, the answer is yes, because we need treated water. Based on a very high current demand, we need Langat 2 as the solution. But even this solution is temporary in nature.
Q: So, it means that the Selangor government's policy of giving free water is something unwise?
A: There is nothing free in this world, and the water that's given is treated water. Treated water requires cost to produce.
If we require cost, we need money. So, if we give free water, then we devalue this vital commodity and no one will value something that's given free.
If we increase the water tariff, just like in Europe, we could see consumers place a high value on water in terms of their attitude towards water consumption as they look at water as a vital asset.
Q: The Selangor government says that Langat 2 is not necessary because the ongoing mitigation projects are able to cope with the demand? Is this so?
A: The Selangor government only plans things for the short term. It looks at adequate water up to 2014.
In contrast, the planning done by the federal government is over the long term, stretching more than 20 years.
Langat 2 is necessary for this period. At present, we might not see water problems as something critical because, everywhere we go, there's water in the tap. But, try to imagine the situation five years from now. Would we still have this luxury?